The Pokémon Company has canceled this year’s Pokémon Europe International Championships due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In a statement released on Mar. 6, the company revealed that they would not be hosting the event this year out of concern for the wellbeing of its participants and attendees.
“The safety and well-being of our community, both competitors and organizers, is our top priority,” the company said. “While we prefer never to see an event get postponed or canceled, out of an abundance of caution and pursuant to the current recommendations set forth by public health officials, we have canceled the 2020 Pokémon Europe International Championships.”
The company thanked the Play! Pokémon community for their support, and pointed those with questions or concerns over the cancellation toward the official Play! Pokémon website for updates on other events that may be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
However, it was also noted that the continuation or cancellation of smaller, more local events would be out of its hands.
“Players should check with their local organizers for the latest information about events in their area,” the company said. “These organizers are independent of Pokémon and act in the best interest of their event, including always being mindful of the safety of participants.”
The cancellation is only the latest gaming-centric event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Major conventions like the Game Developer’s Conference have been postponed after seeing developers and publishers pull out of attending all-together over concerns about the virus, while Bungie instituted new work protocols to keep their developers safe.
Overwatch League Matches have likewise been cancelled in China, the country where the virus originated.
It’s unclear what the impact of these moves will be on the events themselves, though with no signs of the virus’ spread in sight as of yet, it may be some time until that becomes apparent.